Elections 2021

Mumbai goes to polls today; promises galore

Aastha Vijaywargiya Mumbai | Updated on April 28, 2019

Officials carry ballot units from Veterinary College in Dindoshi in Mumbai North West constituency to their respective polling booths on Sunday   -  Prashant Waydande

“Promises are always made, but never fulfilled,” say a resident of a South Mumbai slum when asked about the Congress’s promise of 500 sq ft land to every family.

“The candidates always promise you big houses during elections, but only builders and developers benefit after the elections,” said Aftab Hussain, who has been living in a slum in Worli for the past 10 years .

“Half the number of people living here don’t have their Aadhaar-linked ration cards and have been dependent on local private shops, paying more than they ought to,” said a shopkeeper in the area. Despite having many schools nearby, education remains a key issue. Shivkumar, a slum resident, said: “The mediums in BMC schools are Urdu, Marathi and Gujarati and they have no provision for English language. With fewer teachers and no provision for current demands, the schools aren’t delivering anything productive.”

The slums of the fishermen community at Colaba have a different story to tell. Compared to Worli slum, dwellers at Colaba have better facilities, including sanitation. But the Coastal Road Project is a major concern for them. “The construction of the coastal road would drop cement into the sea, causing fishes to move away from the desired area and also hinder their reproductive cycle. The community has written to various ministries many times and holds a strong hope that Congress candidate Milind Deora will solve our problem,” said Dev Shukla of a fishermen society. With regards to sitting MP from Shiv Sena, Arwind Sawant, he said though Sawant is the elected representative from the constituency, he has shown zero concern for their troubles and worries. As for the affluent class of Malabar Hills, some even do not know who are the candidates. “The majority of people here have their sentiments for Modi irrespective of who the local candidate is,” said Aneesh Parikha, a resident in an upmarket area. A group of retired men in the neighbourhood said something is better than nothing. “Congress has done nothing, at least this government (NDA) has shown progress,” said a 70-year-old man on conditions on anonymity. It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds the sway for majority of the population in South Mumbai.

The write is an intern with BusinessLine

Published on April 29, 2019

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